Jun 04, 2012 at 01:01 PM
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Banned Vodka Keeps Launch Sponsorship Anyway

Utah-based vodka Five Wives Vodka had planned to celebrate its launch in Idaho with a sponsorship of the Boise Music Festival, but after the Idaho Liquor Control Division banned the product's sale throughout the state the Five Wives threatened to pull the sponsorship. In making the ruling, state officials had called the product "offensive to a broad segment of our population."

However, vowing to fight the ban, the company, which had said it would have to withdraw its $10,000 sponsorship of the Boise Music Festival, started selling tee shirts on its website with the slogan "Free the Five Wives." After selling over 1,000 in three days, Five Wives parent' Ogden's Own Distillery says the proceeds will go to maintaining its sponsorship of the Boise Music Festival.

"We are absolutely humbled by the support of the people in our neighboring state," said Steve Conlin, partner and vice president of marketing for Ogden's Own Distillery. "We've sold so many t-shirts to Idaho residents that we think it is only fair to give those proceeds back in sponsorship dollars."

Five Wives is currently only distributed in Utah and Wyoming, but will be added to Missouri and Texas within the next 30 days the company says and others after that.

All the publicity surrounding the ban hasn't hurt the company. It says it's receiving an incredible number of requests for online purchase and is hoping to have an online distributor available in 26 states as early as this week.

For the record, Ogden's Own says that the vodka's label simply pays homage to the early travelers to the West.